Which ND/PL Filter to get if it's the first one?

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 15,527
Re: Which ND/PL Filter to get if it's the first one?

Paul_Joseph wrote:

Hello Everyone,

I'm considering to buy an ND filter + Polarizer from Polarpro & reason behind it is

  • Get better contrast and Out of camera images

A polarizing filter can give you an increase in contrast in the sky, but how much depends on the angle vs the sun. Aim the camera in the direction of the sun or opposite the sun and you get zero effect from the polarizing filter. Aim the camera 90° to the sun and the effect is at a maximum.

A polarizing filter will also reduce reflections. They are commonly used to reduce reflections in windows or on water. Leafs also reflect light and the filter will reduce that reflection, giving you more saturated colors to the leafs - whether you like that or not is a personal taste thing.

Adorama Learning Center - Bryan Peterson - Polarizing a Snow Capped Volcano

  • Usable for outdoor video or with strobe (considering to buy the new Godox AD300 Pro and also the Aputure 300d Mark II)
  • I shoot mostly family portraits, street photography & youtube videos of hands on experience on phones.

Using a ND filter for outdoor portraits can allow you to open up the aperture to reduce the depth of field and throw the background out of focus.

Depth of Field Table

If you use an ND filter with flash or a strobe you will reduce the amount of light from both the ambient light and the flash/strobe equally. This means that you don't need to change the camera's ISO/shutter speed or the power of the flash, just open the aperture until you get a good exposure again, one with a reduced depth of field.

Start with an ISO 100 exposure of 1/100sec and f/16 for direct sunlight and 1/100sec and between f/5.6 to f/8 for open shade. Figure out how much you want to open your aperture and you will know what ND filter you need to buy.

For video change the aperture value as necessary for the video shutter speed then figure out what ND filter you need.

So I'm bit confused between these 3 options. I don't want to buy the wrong one so Ideally if anyone has any of these filters that are using on Sony GM lens specifically or others could share your thoughts on which one to buy as the first ND/PL for general use.

  1. ND8/PL
  2. ND16/PL
  3. ND64/PL

FYI - I already use the Original Sony T* UV Filters on all my lens. So will there be any issue such as vignetting or artifacts when you stack a UV+ND/PL together. I don't want to remove my UV filter all the time. So I will be stacking it for sure.

Your camera's sensor already has a built-in UV filter. You don't need one stuck on the front of your lens. If you think your lens needs protection then use the lens hood, it is much better at protecting the lens than any clear or UV filter.

Under normal circumstances the only time I would consider using a clear protective filter is if I was shooting at the beach with salt water spray. Even that can be easily cleaned off the lens.

Flat glass surfaces are great for reflecting light back and forth. This is usually seen as an increase in lens flare, both the line and bubble type and the broad light source type that shows up as a loss of image contrast.

This is why you want multi-coated filters. Nano coatings are simply thinner than previous coatings but can be more efficient than thicker coatings.

Stacking filters increases the chance of lens flare so should be avoided unless you are careful to make sure that any bright light source is well outside the range where the light can hit the front element of the lens or filter.

Actually I keep an old glass protective filter in my kit to cause line and bubble lens flare if I think it might be a good artistic element of the image.

With good glass filters the loss of image sharpness is small and probably not noticeable until you blow the image up to 1:1, which is not how the normal image is viewed. Plastic filters are much more likely to cause image sharpness loss since their surfaces can not be made as precisely.

Looking forward to your response.

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Living and loving it in Pattaya, Thailand. Canon 5DS R & 7D - See the gear list for the rest.

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